An alarm has been raised at Chiwale secondary school in Neno where three female learners are on the verge of dropping out of school due to accumulated school fees balances.
Headteacher for the school, which has a female boarding facility, Louis Chabwera, says the learners were abandoned at the school by their parents and he fears if chased they might end in child marriages.
" We are at panic as chasing them will be like sending them into early marriage and expose them to many sorts of exploitation which we don't want," he said.
Chabwera said today that the learners pay K240 thousand per term and they owe the school a three term balance and it is becoming difficult to sustain them with the rise in cost of living.
This has been revealed when a team of experts from Partners in Health, Neno District Hospital, the Police and Social Welfare office visited the campus to appreciate a story of a 15-year-old girl who is being reportedly forced into early marriage by her mother through " Chitomero".
The 15-year-old girl we shall call Ruth Banda told the team that her mother, who is 45-years-old separated with her husband when she was some months old.
She alleges that the mother has found her a husband who works at a certain company in the district but she doesn't want to marry him as she is still in school.
" My mother last year, 2022 on 25 December came with the man, she prepared meal for him and asked me to eat with him which I refused and this angered her to a point of beating me," said the girl.
Later my mother told me that the man will be taking care of me until I finish school and she has been sending me to him house to deliver relish and other staff.
An interview with the mother wasn't too successful as she could not answer most questions but admitted to know the man.
She said that "he's a student at Matandani secondary school, he keeps his friends at his house, he owns a dam. Aaaaa yes I heard that he works at the Boma but I don't know anything that he loves my daughter," she said.
The mother then admitted to have been giving her child a cell phone to talk with the man and one day they shouted at each other.
Meanwhile, the police, social welfare office and Partners in Health are planning to further probe into the matter for a possible solution to the matter.